CIDA to match PWRDF on earthquake relief

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has approved a joint project proposal issued by the Primate’s World Relief Development Fund (PWRDF) and other Canadian churches to aid Pakistan-India earthquake survivors.

According to a news release issued by PWRDF, the $750,000 from CIDA’s South Asia Earthquake Matching Fund will contribute toEmergency Relief for Earthquake Affected People in Pakistan and India-Administered Kashmir that will provide 54,000 survivors in Pakistan and India with blankets, winterized tents, clothing and kitchen utensils.

The churches are working through Action by Churches Together (ACT) International, of which PWRDF is a member.

The projects are being run by Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan (CWS-P/A), a member of ACT International, which is providing shelter kits, food packages, housing reconstruction kits and medical services.

The joint application was made with the United Church of Canada, the Mennonite Central Committee, the Presbyterian Church of Canada, the Christian Reformed and the Pentecostal Assemblies.

“Contributions from each of the participating agencies will raise the total amount for the project to over $1.25 million with more funding expected as congregations and parishes send their collections to the national agencies,” said the release.

“Working together as Canadian churches strengthens our ability to practically support survivors of this terrible disaster,” said Cherly Curtis, executive director of PWRDF. “At the same time, it strengthens our capacity to engage the Canadian public in response.”

More than 79,000 are thought to have died in the massive earthquake, which struck northern Pakistan, India and Afghanistan on Oct.8. As many as 80,000 are injured and three million are homeless.

However, a second humanitarian disaster looms for millions of destitute survivors and injured unless help arrives before winter. The numbers of people seeking shelter in the CWS-P/A tent village continues to rise, with some 48 families now settled and more on their way.

As an initial response, PWRDF contributed $25,000 towards the first rapid response appeal issued by ACT to assist with emergency relief of food and non-food items, in addition to shelter construction materials.

Earlier this year, PWRDF in conjunction with the United Church, the Presbyterian Church and the Mennonite Central Committee received $6 million from CIDA for Tsunami relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction work.

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